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Linphone connects teachers in rural African school thanks to Intel Education Service Corps

In Southern Africa, a rural community has gone from isolation to 21st century technology with help from Linphone and Intel Corporation.

Chikanta is a village in Zambia that was, until recently, 100 kilometers from the nearest high school. Now, it’s the site of a school that provides not only basic education, but access to a solar-powered computer lab with PCs and tablets. 

In 2014, a team of five Intel volunteers was preparing to travel to the school when the principal asked if they could enable his teachers and staff to communicate with each other across the large campus and residential buildings. The mobile phone network has not quite reached Twachiyanda in a reliable way, and the cost of phone service is not easy for teachers and students to afford even when you can find a signal, ideally standing on top of the school’s new water tower in the center of campus. 

The team identified Linphone as the perfect solution to enable text messaging, audio and video calling across the campus. That was the easy part, but setting it up would be a challenge. They thought back to the water tower the principal had described and came up with a plan. While on site, the Intel team installed a carrier-grade Wi-Fi router on top of the tower, along with a solar panel and battery. 

Now, teachers and staff can use one of the school’s tablets or PCs to easily communicate with each other, at any time of the day and even during the rainy season. And as the teachers and students get access to more devices, the Linphone-based system can scale accordingly. For more information about this project please visit www.intel.com/servicecorps

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